First things first, let’s call out the elephant in the room: starting a “book club” sounds like something your grandmother does. It sounds like an evening activity reserved for those who weren’t able to get in on bingo and are tired of playing bridge.
But like brunch, paid vacations, and buying bacon whenever you want, book clubs are an awesome secret of adulthood that more twenty somethings should embrace.
My wife started one with a couple friends about a year ago and I’ve been seriously impressed with the way they have stuck with it. They get together once a week to talk and eat together. At the time of this writing, they are on their sixth book–no joke. In fact, after seeing how well my wife and the other two girls were doing, their husbands and I have now started our own book club. Adorable, I know.
Maybe the phrase “book club” is too lame for you. That’s fine, call it something different. You could call it guys/girls night, mental health group, pizza club, drinking time, or even just “Thursday.” No matter how you feel about the idea of a book club, the following are reasons why you should start one.
Why You Need to Start a Book Club
Great Conversation Doesn’t “Just Happen” As Much in Adult Life
One of the big drawbacks of 40-hour work weeks and adult schedules is that we’re not in situations to have impromptu real conversations as frequently as college or high school. When I didn’t have to wake up for class until 10 am, my housemates and I would sometimes stay up all night talking about rock climbing, girls, politics, or all three simultaneously.
It’s during those times when people sit together for hours that you have the sort of real conversations that are largely missing from adult life. It’s my opinion that this is a really bad thing.
The setting of a book club provides a place for great conversation to “just happen.” That doesn’t mean your entire world view will change every time you get together (that would be exhausting), but it does mean that you will at least have a weekly space where you might end up talking about more than how much sleep you got that week.
Reading is Good for You
Don’t believe me? Read these articles and then do a Google search and read the top 10 articles that pop up. Then, if you feel smarter stop reading because you’ve proved my point. If you don’t feel smarter, keep reading until you do.
- 6 Science-Backed Reasons To Go Read A Book Right Now
- 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day
- 8 Science-Backed Reasons to Read a (Real) Book
Group Commitments are a Great Way to Stick to a Personal Goal
Even if you’re not trying to read a new book every 2 weeks like Mark Zuckerberg, reading more books is a valuable goal and something that’s worth aspiring to. Meeting with a group of people to rehash what you’ve read is a highly effective motivator to actually read the pages you committed to.
I learned this first hand when I joined a group of people who committed to getting up early every day. No matter what your goal is, enlisting people to do it with you is a powerful way to help you stick with it.
Face It, Your Schedule Rules Your Life
Remember the days before calendars? I sure do.
It’s just a reality of adulthood that most of us don’t have as much time as we’d like to. Because of that, we have to schedule important things into our life to ensure that we actually have the time to do them. Reading and great conversations are no different.
So while the idea of starting a book club may feel lame, I guarantee the benefits outweigh any stigma you may have associated with it. Sure, it may be a little bit awkward asking your friends to get together once a week and talk about a book, but awkwardness can be a good thing sometimes–it means you’re trying something out of your comfort zone and that is where the most personal growth happens.